PITTSBURGH — Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin talked to the media as the first week of the nontraditional Steelers Camp winds down.
The team reported this week for medical testing and will continue with conditioning only.
“It is a unique circumstance, but it’s unique for everybody,” Tomlin said. “I speak for the group when I express the sentiment that we’re all excited. We miss football. We’re glad to get moving. We got a lot of respect for this environment that we’re in and we’re working our tails off to familiarize ourselves and adhere to the protocols in an effort to keep the individuals and us safe as we could possibly be in the midst of this.”
Tomlin said a lot of time was spent this week getting to know the rookies. They have worked together virtually for months, but this is the first time of doing that in person. He said getting to know them has been exciting.
Channel 11 Sports Anchor Jenna Harner asked Tomlin what has impressed him most about the rookies.
“I don’t know that they’ve had an opportunity to (impress) based on what we’re doing. We’re thoughtful about working our way into this training camp for two specific reasons. The National Football League has been very thoughtful about it. We want to control the COVID environment as we bring people together and minimize the impact of that as we potentially get started, and also we wanted to have an emphasis on conditioning, acknowledging that we’ve been working remotely all off season. So, to this juncture there hasn’t been a lot of football – there’s been a lot of teaching, a lot of conditioning.”
Tomlin said he is happy with the physical conditioning the group has done in the past few months, but now it’s time to work on the mental conditioning.
He stressed without having a preseason, the staff needs to have a hardcore plan but be light on its feet and be thoughtful about what’s asked of inexperienced players.
As for one of the most experienced players on the team, Tomlin said Ben Roethlisberger is ready to go, following last year’s season-ending injury.
“He’s been throwing, and that throwing has been going well. We like where he is. We don’t have any reservations about him being a fluent participant in this training camp process.”
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